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- Tokyo Restricted Area by Yoshimi
7/10 Jamie Staff review, 01 August 2016
More ‘dream music’ now, from those wild and crazy guys at Dream Catalogue. Dream music… Dream Catalogue; see what they did there? This release, from Tokyo’s very own Yoshimi Hishida, ostensibly adds to the imprint’s vapourwave canon but is clearly on the darker, more industrial side of that whole mess and to my ears belongs more to the electronic film soundtrack than any scene with the prefix ‘vapo(u)r-’ attached to it.
Lo, it transpires that Hishida has a rich back-history of working on Japanese cinema scores. The beats here drive an electroacoustic approach to a darker narrative running through his filmic compositions. The sounds Hishida uses incorporate traditional Japanese instrumentation, so there are plucked strings adding a staccato melodic element amongst the trap bass-kicks and percussive beats. These textures add colour to the electronic atmosphere. It’s a style Hishida calls ‘Japanese Hell Trap’, and he was inspired to produce ‘Tokyo Restricted Area’ by the more ominous lights reflected from his home city. By the sounds of it, the semi-industrial underbelly set a fertile scene for his imagination. Never having visited the city myself, these perspectives are haunting and just a little intimidating. The atmosphere veers between ‘foreboding’ and ‘terrifying’.
Tracks like ‘Trapped’ and ‘I Had So Many Names’ reach the apotheosis of this sound; the latter track projects skewed, horrifically demonic sounding voices to augment the eerie strings and clanks. Textures and ambience are nightmarish enough but then the rhythmic chimes and claps of doom burst forth. Now that I’m done being ‘scared’ (I think!), I can tell you this: it’s an esoteric listen, therefore an interesting one.
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